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George Orwell and Russia

Masha Karp



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10 August 2023
For those living in the Soviet Union, Orwell's masterpieces, Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, were not dystopias, but accurate depictions of reality. Here, the Orwell scholar and expert on Russian politics, Masha Karp -

Russian Features Editor at the BBC World Service for over a decade - explores how Orwell's work was received in Russia, when it percolated into the country even under censorship. Suggesting a new approach to the controversial 'Orwell's list' of 1949, Karp puts into context the articles and letters written by Orwell at the time.

She sheds light on how the ideas of totalitarianism exposed in Orwell's writing took root in Russia and, in doing so, helps us to understand the contemporary political reality. As Vladimir Putin's actions continue to shock the West, it is clear we are witnessing the next transformation of totalitarianism, as predicted and described by Orwell. Now, over 70 years after Orwell's death, his writing, at least as far as Russia is concerned, remains as timely and urgent as it has ever been.
Imprint:   Bloomsbury
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 216mm,  Width: 138mm, 
ISBN:   9781788317122
ISBN 10:   1788317122
Pages:   312
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Masha Karp is a political journalist and a leading scholar on the work of George Orwell. She worked for the BBC Russian Service between 1991 and 2009, first as producer and then as Features editor. A member of the St. Petersburg Writers' Union and the Literary Translators Guild in Russia, she translated Animal Farm and its original preface 'The Freedom of the Press' into Russian. Her biography of Orwell, the first to be published in Russia, was a finalist for the ABS Literary Prize. She is a member of the board of the Orwell Society and the editor of its journal.

Reviews for George Orwell and Russia

In George Orwell and Russia, Masha Karp explores the relationship between totalitarianism, as imagined by Orwell, and totalitarianism, as it really existed in Soviet Russia. As Russia slides backwards into a new form of authoritarian dictatorship, this book is a timely reminder of what came before. -- Anne Applebaum, Staff writer for The Atlantic and author of 'Gulag, A History'

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